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Volunteers invited to state park spring clean-up events

Several Iowa state parks are hosting spring clean-up events to get ready for the summer season this April and May. Events will be tailored to each park’s needs and could include activities such as litter and branch pick-up, painting, trail work, and clipping back limbs and plants.

“We greatly appreciate the time and energy our volunteers provide to help take care of Iowa’s parks.” said Todd Coffelt, State Parks bureau chief. “Even if you haven’t visited one of these parks, we invite you to come out for an event and spend time outdoors lending a hand.”  

Here’s a list of some of the state park volunteer events for April and May:

  • Walnut Woods State Park, Polk County – April 7, 9:00 a.m. to noon. Help pick up branches and limbs to get ready for the mowing season. Volunteers should dress for the weather and wear sturdy boots/shoes. Meet at the bird blind parking area just behind park office. Participants may help during all or any portion of the time frame. Contact Tim Gedler at 515-285-4502. 
  • Lake Anita State Park, Cass County – April 20, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. Join a DNR naturalist on an earth hike to pick up litter. Participants can also make plant pots from recycled newspaper to plant milkweed seeds and take home. Meet in the campground near the popcorn stand. Contact Anne Riordan at (641) 747-8383.
  • Springbrook State Park, Guthrie County – April 21, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.Help remove weeds and a newly established pollinator plot. Activities that day will also celebrate Earth Day week, including art projects and family activities. Meet at the campground gazebo. Contact Anne Riordan at (641) 747-8383.
  • Bellevue State Park, Jackson County – April 21, 9:00 a.m. Help paint picnic tables and fire rings, remove vegetation on trails, and more. Dress appropriately for outdoor work. Volunteers can bring their own tools such as rakes, clippers and paint brushes; tools will also be provided by park staff. Meet at the Dyas Unit shower building. Contact Andy Roach at (563) 690-8992.
  • Elk Rock State Park, Marion County – April 21, 8:00 a.m. Join the Friends of Elk Rock State Park for a trail clean up and park work day. Dress for the weather and bring work gloves. Meet at the equestrian campground. Contact Chad Rowson at (641) 842-6008.
  • Walnut Woods State Park, Polk County – April 22, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.Participate in a hike to pick up trash and work in a pollinator plot at Purple Martin Lake. Family activities will include art projects and making pots from recycled newspaper to plant milkweed seeds and take home. Meet in the campground. Contact Anne Riordan at (641) 747-8383.
  • Brushy Creek State Recreation Area, Webster County – April 28, 9:30 a.m. Pick up sticks and garbage in the campgrounds, picnic areas, fishing areas and on trails. Bring gloves and water, wear long pants and sturdy shoes. Prizes for the greatest quantity of trash and the most interesting piece of trash. Meet at the park office. Contact Amber O’Neill at (515) 543-8298.
  • Palisades-Kepler State Park, Linn County – May 12, 10:00 a.m. – Join the Friends of Palisades-Kepler in several activities such as tree clean-up, leaf raking and trash pick-up along trails. Wear long sleeves and pants, and bring gloves and extra rakes if possible. Meet at the park lodge. Please register your attendance by emailing: palsofpalisades@zoho.com. Contact Jim Hanson at (319) 895-6039.
  • Bellevue State Park, Jackson County – May 19, 10:00 a.m. Beautify and clean up the Butterfly Garden in the Nelson Unit. Volunteers can bring gloves and any of their own garden tools and/or seeds to help replant plots at the butterfly garden. Meeting at the Bellevue State Park Nature Center. Contact Andy Roach at (319) 201-9235.

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